I am now ensconced in Boquete, Panamá. After six days in a hotel, I found housing! The amazing story is that I am now living in a yurt way up a mountain side among the coffee plantations. How cool is that? Actually, it is cool in the nights and mornings, but a good comforter solves that problem. I’m at 5260’ foot elevation, about like Denver. The yurt is beautiful, with a separate building for bathroom facilities.
The owner is “everything Gauguin;” Gauguin’s reproduction paintings are everywhere on the grounds, in addition to Gauguin murals on buildings. Five years ago, this was a flat piece of land sloping down to the road. Now it is sculpted land with a home, apartment, cabins, and yurts. It began life as an Airbnb, went to long-term rentals, and now it’s back to short-term rentals.
My first day, I woke up to fog on the mountain tops – a usual occurrence at least this time of the year. As it lifted, I saw that I had a very long-distance view. I’m told that on a clear day I should be able to see the Pacific Ocean and islands beyond. That would be nice.
A little closer in, I had my first visitor – a baby lizard. He came up on my front deck looking for food scraps. Two days later, not finding any, he left and hasn’t returned. Replacing him has been a small sparrow. This bird will come into the yurt and peck around on the floor for something to eat. I thought this was cute and didn’t discourage him. Eventually, he even brought his pregnant spouse. I have had to discourage these visits, though, as they always leave droppings on my floor. So much for having pets.
Up above my front deck, I found that I had growing three bunches of bananas. Perhaps when these are ripe, I’ll have some breakfast already available. There are all kinds of fruit trees on the property. I tried the guava but couldn’t hack all the seeds, so gave up on those. There is a fruit that tastes like a mild orange; it must be a cross with something else. We also have some vegetables and many herbs growing on the grounds. There are some raised beds waiting to be planted.
Boquete is a town of about 25,000, 5,000 of whom are expats Most of the expats here are Americans or Canadians, with many other countries represented in smaller numbers. The town is nestled in a valley (probably a dormant volcano) and extends up the mountainsides. Boquete means a pass in the mountains. It was used by miners traveling through to the California Gold fields in the 1860s. There are many YouTube videos of Boquete if you’d like to see more.